Robin Dutt’s started life as VfL Bochum coach with a narrow 1-0 defeat to 1. FC Heidenheim in the 2. Bundesliga, but things could have very different.
Bochum were denied a perfectly good goal in just the fifth minute, with Lukas Hinterseer denied after Kevin Stöger was incorrectly ruled offside.
John Verhoek then poked Heidenheim head, and after several chances for the visitors after that, neither side had the quality to adding to the score in the second half.
Bochum denied perfectly good goal before Verhoek strikes
Dutt joined Bochum earlier in the week after more than three years out of coaching, during which time he had a spell as sporting director at VfB Stuttgart. He decided to keep faith with the team picked by interim coach Heiko Butscher for the 2-1 win against SV Darmstadt 98 a week ago. Frank Schmidt on the other hand made three alterations after a 2-0 defeat at SSV Jahn Regensburg last weekend. Matthias Wittek, Arne Feick and Nikola Dovedan were the men to come in.
Dutt should have had the perfect start. Robbie Kruse found Stöger in the box, and did well to drag the ball back to Hinterseer before it went out. The striker then struck it in via the underside of the crossbar and went to celebrate an early goal. The assistant referee, rather belatedly, had raised his flag, seemingly because he thought Stöger had been offside, although it was clear from replays that he had not been, nor had anyone else.
In an otherwise sedate opening 20 minutes, Bochum were marginally the better side, yet the hosts would get the first, allowed, goal of the game. Marc Schnatterer, in a similar fashion to Stöger, was able to cross the ball into the box before it ran out of play, and it was Verhoek who got the vital touch milliseconds before the ball was grabbed by Manuel Riemann. It was enough to take it over the line and Heidenheim led.
Bochum only went to underline their control of the flow of the match with a number of good chances to draw level before the break. Kruse came first, striking across the face of goal and out wide, before an excellent strike from Sidney Sam, aimed at the top corner, was just kept out by Kevin Müller. The Heidenheim goalkeeper then denied Hinterseer after he connected with a cross from Danilo Soares, with Stöger heading the rebound well off target.
Limited quality on show in second half
Contrastingly, it would be the home side to have all the chances at the start of the second half. After exchanging passes with Wittek, Schnatterer had Riemann worried with a volleyed cross. The Bochum keeper had to make a save, but Verhoek’s shot a few moments later was of less concern.
Verhoek could then have nearly connected with a long-range free-kick from Schnatterer, but it ended up going wide, before another good ball into the box from the Heidenheim skipper was headed over by Dovedan.
Bochum tried to fight their way back into the game, but they were not threatening Müller’s goal anywhere near as much as they had been before half-time. Hinterseer had a half chance, which went out for a corner, whilst substitute Selim Gündüz was a lively pressure down the left, although his one effort was little to concern Müller.
The second half had lacked quality from both sides, in the end, with Bochum’s increasingly-desperate efforts to get back into the game coming to nought. Sam did have another shot saved by Müller, whilst Riemann was lucky not to concede a second after going up the park as they pushed deep into stoppage time, getting back in time to deny Schnatterer on the counter.
In the end Heidenheim hung on for the three points, moving up a couple of places to eighth in the 2. Bundesliga table. Bochum on the other hand remain dangerously close to the bottom three, although the first half may have left Dutt feeling encouraged about his new team.
Friday's other 2. Bundesliga result
1. FC Kaiserslautern 0-1 SV Sandhausen (0-1, Förster 78')